Russian soldiers who die in the line of duty in Ukraine have all of their sins forgiven, the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church proclaimed in a sermon, comparing their sacrificial death to that of Jesus.
NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan (AP) — Pope Francis told the Russian Orthodox hierarchy and other faith leaders Wednesday that religion must never be used to justify the “evil” of war, and asked at an outdoor Mass in Kazakhstan, “How many deaths will it take?” for peace to prevail in Ukraine.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis had hoped his trip to Kazakhstan this week would offer a chance to meet with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church — who has justified the war in Ukraine — and plead for peace.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday asked for prayers to accompany him this week on what he calls his “pilgrimage of peace” in Kazakhstan for a meeting of religious leaders.
ROME (AP) — The Vatican's Russia-Ukraine diplomacy suffered two setbacks Thursday when the head of the Russian Orthodox Church cancelled a planned meeting with Pope Francis and Ukraine summoned the papal ambassador to complain about Francis' latest comments about the war.
ROME (AP) — Pope Francis met Friday with a top official of the Russian Orthodox Church ahead of an expected meeting next month in Kazakhstan with the Russian Orthodox leader, Patriarch Kirill, who has justified the war in Ukraine.
ROME (AP) — Pope Francis will travel next month to Kazakhstan, where he could meet with Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, who has justified Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
Francis, 85, will attend an interfaith conference in the Kazakh capital, Nur-Sultan, from Sept.
LONDON (AP) — Britain announced a new round of sanctions Thursday against Russia, targeting the head of the Russian Orthodox Church for his prominent support for the war in Ukraine as well as Russia's children's rights commissioner, who Britain said is responsible for the forced transfer and adoption of hundreds of Ukrainian children into Russia.
BRUSSELS (AP) — Thanks to the insistence of Hungary, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church has been removed from the latest round of European Union sanctions to punish Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, four EU diplomats told The Associated Press.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican said Tuesday that Pope Francis will travel to Kazakhstan in September for an interfaith conference, a meeting that may give him a chance to meet with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.
ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has sent a protocol greeting to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, assuring him of prayers on his patron's feast day and stressing the value of human life and wisdom, as the Vatican insists on maintaining cordial relations amid the war in Ukraine.
ROME (AP) — The European Union plans to sanction the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in its next round of measures to punish Russia's invasion of Ukraine, EU diplomats said Wednesday, opening a new religious front in Europe’s sanctions regime.
BEIRUT (AP) — Pope Francis will visit Lebanon in June, the president's office said Tuesday, in an apparent show of support for the country experiencing an unprecedented economic meltdown.
Francis has held special prayers for Lebanon and has repeatedly said he plans to visit the small country since the economic meltdown began in October 2019.
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis said Sunday he was still working on arranging a meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, despite that leader's seeming justification for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and said he wouldn't rule out travelling to the region if it would help.
While Russia has sought to justify its assault on Ukraine with complaints about NATO's eastward expansion, it has also claimed that foreign actors have encroached on its religious turf in Ukraine — even alleging the United States helped instigate an Eastern Orthodox schism there.
ROME (AP) — Pope Francis on Friday denounced the “perverse abuse of power” on display in Russia’s war in Ukraine and called for aid to Ukrainians who he said had been attacked in their “identity, history and tradition” and were “defending their land.”
Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, leader of Russia’s dominant religious group, has sent his strongest signal yet justifying his country's invasion of Ukraine — describing the conflict as part of a struggle against sin and pressure from liberal foreigners to hold “gay parades” as the price of admission to their ranks.
ROME (AP) — The head of the Polish bishops’ conference has done what Pope Francis has so far avoided doing: He publicly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and urged the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to use his influence with Vladimir Putin to demand an end to the war and for Russian soldiers to stand down.
MOSCOW (AP) — Orthodox Christians in Russia, Serbia and other countries observed Christmas on Friday amid restrictions aimed at dampening the spread of the coronavirus, but few worshipers appeared concerned as they streamed into churches on Christmas Eve.
ROME (AP) — Plans are progressing for a possible meeting next year between Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church following their historic encounter in Havana in 2016, a top Russian Orthodox official said Wednesday.
MOSCOW (AP) — A homemade bomb went off in a school attached to an Orthodox Christian convent and wounded 12 people, while an 18-year-old former student was identified as a suspect in the explosion, Russian authorities said Monday.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday offered prayers for Ukraine, and urged dialogue and not weapons as Russia masses tens of thousands of troops on its border with Ukraine.
Francis didn't mention Russia by name in comments to the faithful during the traditional Sunday blessing in St.
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis said Monday there were plans for a possible second meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, after their historic 2016 encounter in Cuba became a landmark in mending relations severed by the 1,000-year-old schism that divided Christianity.
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin attended Orthodox Christmas services Wednesday at a small 13th century church on an island.
During two decades in power, Putin generally has marked Christmas outside Moscow, often at relatively little-known provincial churches...
MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Orthodox Church on Friday defrocked a coronavirus-denying monk who has defied Kremlin lockdown orders and taken control of a monastery...
MOSCOW (AP) — The head of the Russian Orthodox Church says the data-gathering capacity of devices such as smartphones risks bringing humanity closer to the arrival of the Antichrist.
ISTANBUL (AP) — A senior official in the Orthodox Church says "there's no going backwards" in granting Ukrainian clerics full ecclesiastic independence from the Russian Orthodox Church to which they have been tied to for hundreds of years...
MOSCOW (AP) — Thousands of Russian pilgrims have walked in a procession marking the 100th anniversary of the execution of Czar Nicholas II and his family.
Russia's last czar, his wife and five children were executed by Bolshevik soldiers in the city of Yekaterinburg 18 months after Nicholas abdicated in the February 1917 revolution...